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Get Lit! Success in Writing Informative/Explanatory Essays (High School, 8 Wks)

New class
In this 8-week course for high school learners, learners will use and employ research-based strategies to effectively write an informative/explanatory essay in response to one or more literary texts.
Demeka Mays, M.Ed.
Average rating: 4.9Number of reviews: (12)
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
US Grade Level
learners per class


Charged upfront
$23 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 8 weeks
55 minutes per class
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Class Experience

In alignment with most state English Language Arts and/or literacy standards and through lecture, discussion, and independent activities, scholars will 

1) Reading Standard: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

2) Writing Standard 1: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

3) Writing Standard 2: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

4) Speaking & Listening Standard: Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Coach Demeka is a published author and a former National Board-Certified Adolescent Literature & Composition, African American History, and college writing instructor. She held National Board Certification in Adolescent Literature & Composition and certification in Educational Leadership. A former specialist for a state Department of Education, district and school administrator, AP teacher, and college writing instructor, Coach Demeka is currently a college counselor and a teacher of leaders and teachers who plans and facilitates a variety of training, including RAP-for-Success in Writing and BWA Text Talk workshops. 
The homework will be assigned as follows:
Class 1: Prior to class, complete critical reading. After class, finish brainstorming ideas.
Class 2: Finish writing the informative/explanatory introductory paragraph.
Class 3: Finish outlining the informative/explanatory body paragraphs.
Class 4: Finish writing the informative/explanatory body paragraphs.
Class 5: Finish writing the informative/explanatory conclusion paragraph.
Class 6: Finish editing and revising the informative/explanatory essay.
Class 7: Use peer reviews and feedback to improve the informative/explanatory essay draft. Submit the final essay for the Writer’s Walk (homeschoolers will submit final drafts for a rubric score).
Class 8: Continue applying the strategies learned to write informative/explanatory essays in your high school courses, and sign up for the next Success-in-Writing course to learn how to write another type of essay.  

The teacher has additional courses that she teaches, and duties and responsibilities related to her non-Outschool employment; thus, it is necessary for her to assign due dates so that she may give and return feedback in a timely manner. Feedback will not be given for any work that is submitted after the due date. 
All material will be provided during and after class. Learners will use one or more of the following writing programs and applications to complete assignments during and outside of class: .doc, .docx, Google Docs, Google Slides. Learners will use the chatbox to share and receive peer and teacher feedback during class and via the Outschool or Google Classroom to share and receive constructive feedback outside of class. Learners will use Google Classroom to access the following course resources: Success in Explanatory Writing Resources (PDFs) Success in Explanatory Writing Notebook (Google Slides or Google Docs) Note about Third-Party Tools: Learners will need to create a FREE Gmail account that includes their first names to gain access and save Google Slides or Google Docs to their personal Google Drive. Google Forms may be used to increase learner engagement (e.g., share anonymous responses and work).
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
For all learners, the teacher will conduct informal checks for understanding and provide constructive, informal feedback during whole-group discussion and learner shares and via classroom posts. 

For homeschoolers, the teacher also provides formal feedback via digital post-its and rubrics. Homeschool parents who desire a course grade, please inform the teacher at the time of enrollment. Homeschool learners will receive weekly formative assessments via post-its (e.g., checklists) and a summative assessment via rubric for the final essay. The teacher will use the post-it and rubric scores to assign a cumulative grade.

As the teacher has additional courses that she teaches and duties and responsibilities related to her non-Outschool employment, it is necessary for her to assign due dates so that she may give and return feedback in a timely manner. Any work that is submitted after the due date will not be evaluated. 
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
Books that are included on the American Library Association’s (ALA) banned or challenged book list address unpopular or difficult subject matter, such as gender identity, racism, religion, politics, profanity, suicide, and violence. 

The books we will be reading in the class will be in the age range of 14-18 years old according to Amazon and the publisher of each book. These books are historical fiction, literary fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Parents, please review all books prior to enrollment to make sure the books are appropriate for your child, as all books listed deal with racism and discrimination and include violence and profanity. We will discuss all diverse experiences during this class, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, Black, ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. These discussions could include racism, sexism, and discrimination. These topics will be handled in an age-appropriate manner. All my classrooms are safe, respectful, and supportive places for all students.  

Learners must take ownership of their own success by demonstrating commitment, taking initiative to ask questions, and completing tasks in a timely manner. Homeschool parents who desire a course grade, please inform the teacher at the time of enrollment. Homeschool learners will receive weekly formative assessment grades (via checklist) and a summative assessment grade (via rubric) for the final essay. 
Aside from the teacher-provided writing resources and notebook (PDFs, Google slides or Google Docs) and teacher-provided text excerpts, the learners will not use any resources external to Outschool. 

Meet the teacher

Demeka Mays, M.Ed.
Average rating: 4.9Number of reviews: (12)
My name is Demeka, and I am beyond excited to be a part of the Outschool community! I love working with children from across the globe and of all different ages. I mainly teach classes that are research-focused (e.g., how to conduct scientific or... 
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